Hadrian’s use of Greek identity during the High Empire

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Title: Hadrian’s use of Greek identity during the High Empire
Author: Monahan, Courtney Michelle
Type: Thesis
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: Upon the accession of the Emperor Hadrian in A.D. 117, the Roman Empire had reached its greatest physical extent. With an empire that stretched from Spain to Mesopotamia and from Britain to Northern Africa, the ruler of the Roman Empire was ostensibly the ruler of the Western world. On the heels of a beloved and notably expansionist emperor, Hadrian succeeded to the rule of an empire in its prime. Although he is now remembered as one of the greatest and most influential emperors of Rome, his rule was complicated by a complex relationship with Roman tradition and his own tendency toward philhellenic multiculturalism. The empire was united under a single ruler and the laws of Rome, but it was by no means a homogeneous. Although local customs and traditions were often left intact or incorporated into the Roman way of life, there are cases in which they fell into conflict with Roman tradition. Even when they were not in direct conflict with Rome, however, there was a general sense of what was Roman and what was not and Roman provinces did run the risk of seeming more like fringe territories than equal partners in a Roman alliance ... This paper will focus specifically on the paradox between Greekness as erudition and Greekness as effeminacy. Although there were several aspects of Greek culture that would detract from a man’s Romanness, Hadrian seemed to have fashioned his public image in such a way that he embraced and flaunted his philhellenism while still maintaining and in many ways bolstering his own romanitas.
Subject: Identity (Philosophical concept)
Subject: Hadrian, Emperor of Rome, 76-138
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Monahan, Courtney Michelle. "Hadrian’s use of Greek identity during the High Empire". 2011. Available electronically from

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